SeaKnots

Any older sailors out there who have made some adaptations either to their boats or to their techniques for sailing as a senior citizen?

Any hints you would care to pass along to other older sailors?

I'm 61, been sailing since I was 18, owned four boats, sailed a lot of other people's boats, had a master's license for 20 years, and now that I'm getting older I find that I need to modify my boat and my techniques. Some are little things, like keeping a magnifying glass in the chart table. Some are bigger things, like adding lazy jacks and bringing lines back to the cockpit.

How about you?

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What I do is. First off, I am 70 years old, and single hand a lot, on a Seidelman 37. I have several things that I have changed over the years. First, I do not use what most do as a standard tether. I use two tethers, each one short, and clip into each side of the boat. I can assure you that if you use a standard 6' tether, and you go over the side, it's a very long shot that you will be able to get yourself back into the boat. Lots of people say drag a line, tow a dink, whatever. If you go into the water, from a moving boat, while single handing, you are not going to get back into the boat. So, make sure you do not go over the side. I don't have the lines for the main sail led back to the cockpit. If the weather is a little bit snotty, I do not leave the cockpit, and either sail with just a jib, or motor. That may not be the purist way to do it, but it works for me. Other than that, think out each move you make, before you make it. But my primary concern is don't end up in the water while sailing.

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